How Long Does a Butane Canister Last?

What is the first thing that comes to your mind while going camping? Food? Well, you don’t want to eat frowsty food in a refreshing environment. A gas canister is all you need. But, the major concern is how long does a butane canister last.

Butane gas canisters have become the best camping partner in the past few years. Butane canisters are portable, lightweight, and give you an edge over propane tanks for short short-duration camping. You can attach the butane canister with a camping stove and use it for cooking purposes.

The small 8 oz butane gas canister is compatible with portable stoves. It comes in small spray cans, and you can carry a bunch of them in your backpack. But, the question is still there, how long does a butane canister last?

In today’s article, I will discuss how long a butane canister lasts, how to store butane canisters, and much more.

The Lasting Capacity of Butane Canisters

Lasting Capacity of Butane Canisters
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An 8oz butane fuel canister will last for three hrs on low heat and about 1.5 hrs on high flame.

Most gas stoves consume 5 oz gas per hour. You must calculate if you consider taking gas canisters on a camping trip.

Here is simple mathematics to determine the exact amount of gas canisters you should pack for your next camping trip.

A cylinder containing 1000 grams of gas generates 14KW of heat energy. First, calculate the total amount of heat energy the fuel canister contains—multiply the cylinder size in kg by 14.

Let’s suppose you have 529 oz butane cylinder, convert oz into kg that is 15 now multiple it with 14;

15×14 = 210 kW

Now divide 210 KW by camp stove heat setting. Let’s say the gas stove generates 4.2Kw per hour.

210/4.2 = 50

This means the maximum cooking power of the butane can will be 50 hours.

To maximize the cooking time, try using 1 bar of pressure rather than 3 bars. By doing so, you can extend the life of the gas cylinder by 150 hours.

Here are some factors that affect the butane fuel formula;


How many gas canisters you need depends on many factors; one of the main factors is population. You need more fuel if a huge group of friends and family is going.

In such circumstances, you can take pre-cooked meals, water-cooked breakfast, use a hot cup, and arrange a campfire instead of heaters.

Available Water

Water from glacial rivers and lakes also increases the time it takes to reach a boiling point, so keep this in mind.

Simple boiling meals will consume significantly less butane gas than a multi-step meal. It is recommended to make a meal chart before all the camping gas burns.

Now that you have a solid understanding of your area, situation, and fuel consumption needs, determine your camping stove’s performance. The efficiency of the portable stove has a direct effect on the fuel required.

Canister Available Sizes

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Butane canisters are available in various sizes to suit different applications. Below are some items used for cooking, camping, or other fuel refill purposes.

Camping Stove Can

butane cans are usually 8 oz or 8.8 oz. The 8 oz size is probably the most familiar to campers. It fits the most portable butane stoves and can be purchased at any store, or you can order online through Amazon. You can buy one can or buy several depending on your needs and how long you will be camping.

Refill Canister

As it is clear from the name, these butane canisters are used for refilling. It usually comes in 5 -5.07 oz and uses to refill portable lighters, butane candles, and torches.

How to Store the Butane Canister?

Store the Butane Canister
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Do you know that butane canisters don’t have an expiration date? Butane gas canisters can easily be stored for more than ten years. All you need to do is seal the store butane canisters properly.

Once you unsealed the butane canister, you should use it completely rather than leaving the half back in storage. The butane canisters explode if you store them unsealed. But there is no problem in storing a brand new butane gas canister.

Generally, butane cans should be stored indoors, out of the reach of children and pets, at a temperature of no colder than 32 degrees Fahrenheit and no hotter than 125 degrees Fahrenheit and in low humidity. Never expose them to direct sunlight.

Types of Gas Canisters

Types of Gas Canisters
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There are mainly five types of butane gas canisters. Let’s discuss each in detail;

Screw-On Canisters

Screw-on canisters are the most common butane gas cylinder used for camping. In addition, it can be sealed with the help of the Lindal valve. If you want it for food cooking, I recommend you ignore others and go for it.

Easy-Click Canisters

The easy-click canister is ideal for camping stoves. Easy click canisters are also called clip-on, “Easy Clic Plus,” CV270, CV300, or CV470; these tubes are similar to the screw-type tubes but have a different type of valve, making them incompatible with the tube types. This kit contains a mixture of butane and propane and is available in 230, 240, and 450 grams. This type of equipment is usually available from suppliers in Northern European countries.


The cheapest gas cartridge works exactly as the name suggests; it cannot be sealed after use. It’s hard to get someone to say they want to go green, but it may be the only viable option in some places. This butane/propane mixture is available in 190g containers in camping shops and supermarkets but is most commonly found in France and eastern and southern European countries.


Aerosol is usually used for refilling purposes. With the help of an adopter, you can refill lamps and lighters. Many aerosol cans come with adapters to ensure the filling of all types of machines and equipment.

Large Canisters

If you are going car camping, these 40oz canisters are ideal. They are quite heavy to take for hiking. They are perfect for caravans, barbecues, grills, and heaters.

How to Dispose of Gas Canisters?

How to Dispose of Gas Canister
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Butane gas canisters are pressurized, so it is important to dispose of them properly. If you don’t dispose of them, it could harm you and the environment. I will describe some simple methods to dispose of these gas canisters.

If you don’t want to risk, contact a gas station, public works department, fire department, or an authorized disposal service to dispose of old butane cans. These companies are specially trained and recycle butane canisters professionally.

Here are two methods to dispose of butane canisters;


If you want to dispose of your butane bottles, you must ensure they are empty. You can put the canister on the stove or heat it and cook it until the can is empty.

To avoid fuel wastage, you can use an old canister for cooking purposes. If you don’t want to get the last drop of gasoline off the pan, you’ll need a sharp point to punch a hole in the side of the pan. Anything sharp will work, but we recommend an old spoon or a cathedral-shaped bottle with a pointed top.

Never use power tools for disposal purposes, as these could cause a spark and ignite if the fuel is still there in the can. Instead, poke a small hole in the side of the canister to release the butane, if any. Once empty, you can throw the butane can in the recycling bin.

Professional Disposal

Find your nearest Household Hazardous Materials (HHW) collection point that will accept empty or near-empty butane candles and other containers. Some of these sites offer cars or other services but be aware that they will not accept damaged or leaking containers.

Wrap Up!

We all know about the popularity of butane as camping fuel. Butane is the most environmentally friendly and safest fuel to use when camping.

Those expensive gas canisters will last longer, saving you money. However, you get what you pay for. Many cheap gas tanks are still available but don’t last long.

About Antonio

I’m Antonio, a passionate traveler, and outdoor lover who’s running this website. I started this site to share my passion for camping, traveling, and bikepacking.